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Switches are components with which a physical, electrically conductive connection can be established, changed and separated. In certain designs, switches are used in electronics, and communication technology and computer technology. In a rough classification, switches can be divided into mechanical, electromechanical and electronic, whereby the electromechanical and electronic are dealt with in the context of this lexicon.

In general, the operation of switches, regardless of their design, is always comparable. In all switches, a switching contact makes or breaks an electrical connection to a conductor. In mechanical switches, the switch contact is moved mechanically from one position to another. In addition to many other applications, mechanically operating switches are primarily used in domestic electrical systems as light switches or as on-switches for household appliances. In electromechanical switches, the switch contact is moved by an electric or magnetic field. Typical electromechanical switches include relays, reed relays, contactors, etc. In addition, there are the purely electronic switches, where no mechanical switching contact is moved.

DIP switches, consisting of four slide switches.

DIP switches, consisting of four slide switches

They are logic semiconductor devices that have the function and characteristics of mechanical switches and are used in electronic circuits. Touch switches also belong to the electronic switches. These are capacitive or inductive switches that trigger the logic switching function when touched. These switches operate according to the methods used in touch screens.

Switch designs

Switch designs

Functionally, a distinction is made between two switching principles: the on switch and the toggle switch. While the on-switch merely opens or establishes an electrical connection, the toggle switch switches between two electrical connections. If it opens one connection, it simultaneously closes the other. It therefore switches between two connections, hence also changeover switch. In communications technology, such switches are referred to as A/B switches.

Englisch: button
Updated at: 21.11.2019
#Words: 289
Links: connection, indium (In), electronics, communication (COM), computer
Translations: DE

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